European aerospace company EADS is restructuring, including reducing its global workforce by nearly five percent.
The job cuts will be spread between Britain, France, Germany and
Spain and will come over the next three years.
The restructuring coincides with plans to merge the company’s defence and space divisions into one unit as European governments spend less on military hardware.
Chief Executive Tom Enders said: “We need to improve our competitiveness in defence and space – and we need to do it now,”
A French union – Force Ouvriere – said it would oppose any of the 5,800 job cuts that were not voluntary.
To cushion the impact of the almost 6,000 fewer positions, EADS pledged to open up 1,500 posts at Airbus and helicopter division Eurocopter for the redeployment of affected staff.
It said it would also freeze renewal of 1,300 temporary contracts and bring in further voluntary measures.
Some 500 corporate posts are included in the headcount reduction.
EADS also plans to sell its main Paris office building, the former headquarters of now defunct French state aerospace firm Aerospatiale, whose assets became part of EADS when it was created from a Franco-German-Spanish merger in 2000.